Holland Road Baptist Church

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Jeri-Lee Kenny

1. What is your motivation for being a part of Transform? 

Matthew 19 v27:  “We have left everything to follow you”.

I wanted to join the Transform team because I am walking as close to the Lord as I can. I stepped out in faith 5 years ago, leaving a job and security to follow where God is leading me. I believe in ‘the great commission’ worldwide mission work. I strongly believe a supporting church is imperative to mission. As God has placed me here at Holland Road, I want to give myself to the church fully, get to know my church family, and enable my church family to get to know me.

2. What do you hope to personally gain through this experience? What are you excited about as you think about it?

I hope to experience closer unity with my church family. I see this as a valuable step in both my personal journey and in preparation for mission. I am excited about serving in ministry and experiencing mission opportunities further afield, whilst trusting in the Lord for his provision, and living a life of service as a disciple. I’m excited about being a part of existing teams, getting involved, and all the people I will meet and the challenges that I will experience on the way.

3. What areas of your character are you seeking God to further develop through your time on Transform?

I know God will use this time to correct me, encourage me, and stretch me. To weed out any underlining personality traits that God wants me to be aware of; reminding me to call on His strengths and examining my weak spots, challenging me to let him guide me. I believe He does all this in love. I see this as another opportunity to be refined by God: ‘He will sit as a refiner and purifier’.

4. Testimony:

When I was aged 21, I was overwhelmed by the cruelty of man to man and I began to reflect on the terrible suffering in the world and how we all long to escape persecution, when it occurs. I began to recognize that it is impossible for any person to experience persistent cruelty, loneliness, and suffering, and escape unscathed. Only God’s power was capable of helping people; it was beyond man’s capability.

At the realisation of this, I cried out in utter despair, sobbing uncontrollably for the suffering in this world, “Please let there be a God”. It was then that He answered. My room filled up with an amazing light, of which I had never seen the like of, and in every pore of the light was love. Unimaginable love. I then sobbed in pure joy, gasping out the words, “There is a God, there is”. The next day I saw the world for the first time, with a believer’s eyes and heart, and I saw God’s world for the first time in my life. I saw His creation. The foliage on the trees, the clouds in the sky; it was like a child seeing something new for the first time. I also felt more love for others and stopped being so isolated. Because I had never been to church, I did not know I could go in. It was another four years before I met my first Christian and immediately confessed that I knew for sure that God was real and I begged her to let me come to Church with her. She said yes and even bought me my first bible. I signed up for weekly Bible study, began to learn about our amazing God, and got baptised.

5. How are you sharing your Christian Faith in your present circumstances at home, work, and church?

All I have is God’s: my body, my life, my work, my home. God is my life. I cannot leave him out anywhere. I believe our mission field is the here and now. I never want to hide God’s light under a bushel. I have always shared my faith in all my secular work places. When non-Christians ask me “did you have a nice weekend?” I openly share about my Church life. I sent text messages asking for prayer support at times, to my non-Christian friends. When one replied saying yes, I prayed God would be able to use this opportunity for His Glory.

I seek to serve, and I see Transform as a way of fully immersing myself within the Church family. ‘Ask not what your church can do for you, but what you can do for your church’. I believe that through serving we learn.

I have always shared my homes with other people, because all I have is God’s. I am a host mother for Olivet International students. I enjoy good prayer time with my children and friends in my home, and use my home for Christian hospitality on many occasions.

6. What do you consider to be the most significant events of your life and why?

A. My conversion, because I knew no Christians and yet God heard my cry, knew my heart, and rescued me.

B. My children, because I see then as a gift from God and I can see God in them. My daughter is a missionary and even when both my children were young, I learned more of God through their faith. Discipleship is a two way relationship; as discipled them, they discipled me.

C. My huge leap of faith, stepping out of the boat to walk on water; leaving the security of a paid job in July 2009 to follow in obedience to God’s call 5 years ago. At the time I had 2 mortgages, no savings, and I was scared. But I obeyed God and he has not let me down. I still have 2 mortgages, no savings, but I am no longer scared.

 

Topics: Magazine, Transform
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Jeri-Lee Kenny

On October 25th 2014 a team from Holland Road set out on a mission trip to Romania; with bags packed full of craft materials, toys, toiletries and food as gifts for our work, and warm clothes for the predicted cold weather. The team consisted of Jonny Holman, Sam Dracott, Debbie Varney, Jeri-Lee Kenny, Philip Deuk, Matt Lovell, Margie Fforde, Helen Wheeler and Pam Bebb.

We arrived in Bucharest during a snow storm and we spontaneously applauded the pilot upon the landing. Our team still had a further flight to catch, though, and it was no surprise that it was delayed. They found another plane, quite small with large visual propellers on the side, and we took off once again in the howling snow storm. Everyone was nervous!

One hour later we landed in Iasi. Not a drop of snow to be seen, but it was very cold. Pastor David and his son were patiently waiting. It was past midnight by now and we had been travelling since 9.00am. Pastor David’s son took us to the church hall, where we would be working and staying for the week. To our delight it was fully carpeted and toasty warm. There was a large bowl of fruit and plenty of bread, coffee and tea. The beds were all made up for us and everything was clean and comfortable. We soon settled down for a well needed sleep, because we had an early start the next day.

In the morning we took part in the Filadelfia Church service, in the city centre. Philip Deuk preached, while the team performed a song and did cardboard testimonies. Some also helped in the children’s service. Later in the evening we went to a rural church about 40 minutes out of town and repeated the process. But here the little children had no special service and they sat obediently for 2 hours on a rug at the front with little to amuse them except staring at us!

During the rest of the week, we were busy during the daylight with pastoral visits to families in the city and in the rural district. Some rural areas had no plumbed in water mains and used communal wells situated along the roadside. They had no inside toilets, but used holes in the ground in wooden sheds. The homes were mainly just two rooms, doubling up as bedrooms, kitchen, and lounge. They were warmed from the wood burning range used for cooking, which were set into separating walls built with similar bricks that we find in UK night storage heaters. This clever idea meant the walls kept the heat well and so acted as radiators.

The people were very welcoming. Occasionally there were tears from the rural people who were overwhelmed by their troubles and were experiencing real hardships brought on by health problems from a stroke, and a hospital accident which caused severe disabilities. I personally wept alongside them. There was genuine understanding and connection between us all despite the language barriers: God’s provision was working in us. It was a privilege to pray with these people and share the gospel with them.

For four continuous nights we ran a children’s club for up to 31 children aged between 4 and 14. We had Romanian ladies who worked hard translating for us. The children had a wonderful time, told their friends and family, and eagerly returned each night. We were all so blessed by their happy faces. Whatever we gave, we got back tenfold.

On the last day we held ladies’ events – one in the rural area in the morning and one in the city in the evening. Many ladies came forward for prayer. The evening was very emotional, full of joy and worship, but also there were testimonies, tears, confessions, and much healing. It was a time well spent in the presence of our Lord.

Please join with us in remembering the people of Romania through prayer. To find out more about what Holland Road does across the world see hrbc.org.uk/world

Topics: Transform, World Mission
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